The results of a survey commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy show that three in four companies were expecting to be negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis at the time of their response. The sectors that have been hit the most are “hospitality”, “healthcare, social services, and other services requiring close physical proximity to a person”, “vehicles and machinery”, and “food production”.
The most common way in which companies said they were affected were a loss in demand and cash-flow problems. Approximately half of the companies affected by the pandemic also had to temporarily shut down their operations in part or in full, and had logistical difficulties with regard to their sales and supply chains. Just under three quarters of the companies surveyed are expecting sales losses in Q2 2020, with the average figure given standing at a 55% loss in turnover.
At the same time, the survey also showed that the crisis intervention measures taken by the Federal Government are working. Almost 60% of the small companies surveyed are using or planning to use the immediate assistance provided by the Federation and the Länder. More than one in three companies have introduced or are planning to introduce short-term work, and one in three companies are making use of the optional tax deferral. Between one in four and one in five companies is able to respond to the crisis by allowing its staff to reduce their overtime, work from home, or shorten working times.
The results of the survey show that more than one in three companies have broadened their range of products or services during the coronavirus crisis, and that they are relying more on digital sales channels. Two in three companies that had planned to invest in digital equipment or structures, renovation or retrofitting work, or R&D decided to forego these investments for now. At the same time, one in ten companies have invested during the pandemic, mostly in hygiene or health and safety measures and digital structures or equipment.
These results are based on a survey of a representative sample of 500 companies of different sizes and from different industries, which was conducted by the KANTAR market research company between 14 and 23 April. Further surveys are planned for July and October. The aim of this work is to have a direct response from a representative sample of companies with regard to their economic situation and need for support. The follow-up surveys will enable the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to trace the recovery process and, if necessary, to further adjust the public-sector aid measures in the course of the year.